2023: Cross River PDP Governorship Aspirant Conclude Plans To Dump PDP For APC, Contest For Senate
By MARK ITA, Calabar
Rt Hon Daniel Asuquo, member representing Akamkpa/Biase Federal Copnstituency, Barring any last minute change of mind, member representing Akamkpa/ Biase federal constituency, Rt Hon Daniel Asuquo, has concluded plans to defect to All Progressives Congress ( APC) and contest for the southern senatorial seat.
Investigations revealed that Asuquo, a third term law maker at the Lower House of the National Assembly, is piqued that PDP has refused to zone the governorship slot to southern senatorial district.
Asuquo, who is also in the governorship race in PDP, is worried about his political future as he has also lost out in the House of Representatives election because it is the turn of Biase local government area that shares the constituency seat with Akamkpa where he hails from.
Party sources revealed that at the just-concluded ward delegates’ election Senators Sandy Onor and Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe’ faction swept the delegates, an indication that Sandy is coasting home to victory ahead of the governorship primary election.
During the ward delegates’ election stakeholders’ meeting held at Transcorp Hotels, Asuquo and the state chairman of PDP, Venatius Ikem, Esq, had an altercation as the legislator accused the party chairman of skewing the election in favour of Sandy.
There at the meeting, Asuquo was said to have bragged that he would “teach PDP, Sandy and Jarigbe a lesson in politics,” saying “nobody dares me and get away with it.”
But before now, speculation has been rife that the Rep member has been hobnobbing with Governor Ben Ayade on how he could be accommodated in APC in the event that he lost out of PDP governorship ticket.
Sources close to APC confided in our correspondent that Ayade has been trying to broker a deal with Asuquo by dangling senatorial ticket to him to enable him break PDP’s dominance in the south and placate the people of Akamkpa and Biase local government areas who have been marginalised in the senatorial seat.
To ensure Asuquo’s smooth entry into APC, Ayade has concluded arrangements to hand over the senatorial ticket unopposed and ready to fund the election even as either one of Ayade’s aide and commissioner for agriculture, Mr Okon Owuna, from the same Akamkpa, and Dr Emil Inyang, the former Baise local government area has been tipped for the seat.
Owuna and Asuquo were best of friends but fell out over power tussles and some irreconcilable differences. Since then, it has been a cat-and mouse-attitude and resort to open confrontations during political time.
As at the time of filing this report, a reliable source close to Government House hinted that negotiation is going on directly between Ayade and Asuquo on the possible defection ahead of the primary election.
An APC stalwart, who simply identified himself as Justine Agbor, from Akampka, said they would be glad to have Asuquo (a.k.a Dasuki) in their fold as his coming in would brighten the party’s chances in the next election.
Agbor said: “The rumour has been making the rounds that Asuquo wants to defect to APC knowing that he would not get a ticket for any political position ahead of 2023. We shall be glad to have him as the next senator because our federal constituency has never produced a senator for decades.
“Honestly, it would be a big catch and a good bargain for APC and Ayade. Besides, it would be a great loss to PDP because Asuquo is an asset”
Reacting, a PDP stalwart from Biase, Mr John Uno, said: “it would be the highest form of betrayal if Asuquo defects to APC even as PDP has made him what he is. He has been in the House of Representatives for twelve years courtesy of PDP. So what is he talking about/
“Besides, a good chunk of his boys are in the PDP State Working Committee (SWC) while others are calling the shots at ward and local government executive committees. So, what does he want? Well, we shall not be surprised because politicians are like that once they are out for power.
“But I make bold to say that PDP is unshakable and nothing would stop the party from taking over from APC in 2023. More importantly, the party shall not hesitate to institute litigation and call for his sack from the NASS if he defects because we shall not tolerate such brigandage anymore.”